In celebration of the latest Chronicles of Tavara Tinker, The New World, Brick Cave Media took the time to interview Melanie Frasier. Melabie has been the voice of the series for it's audio book editions since the first published Le Tour de Paris in 2015. Although born in South Africa, most of her professional training was in the UK at a leading theatre arts centre and the Royal Ballet School. Melanie's career started out in childrens' radio programmes for the British Council and later as an actress, singer and dancer in theatre, television, cabaret and film.
This is part 2 of this interview. Part 1 can be found here.
Q: All of the Tavara Tinker stories enjoy little background audio embellishments that you have added to add depth to the work. That's fairly rare in the space, talk a little about how you came to do that.
When I was training for voice over work, I encountered sound effects which enhanced story lines so I started a sound effects library to which I add new ones as they are needed for the various stories I work on. I must admit that many of my peers don’t like to use them but I feel it adds to the atmosphere of what could be a rather “dry” experience without them. I took a risk and added some effects but low in volume at the beginning of my audio book career so that they wouldn’t jar the listener. In fact, there have only been positive comments about them which was a huge relief. However, I am careful not to overdo them and mainly concentrate on the atmosphere of a room or outside scene. I don’t think it works if the background sound of dialogue inside and outside sound the same!
Q: What's Melanie's working day typically look like as a voice talent?
There is no typical day. Sometimes one works at night, sometimes at different sections of the day. The main things to avoid are noises e.g. aircraft, buildings being demolished, dogs barking, lawnmowers etc. So careful timing of the recording side of audio book production is vital. Once the book has been read through and marked up (colour coded for the characters), I then choose the “voices” of the characters – each one has their own audio file to ensure continuity - sometimes a character will not reappear for several pages or chapters or even in a later part of a series so this very important. Once the whole book has been recorded, the lengthy task of editing follows (which takes many hours) and the addition of sound effects are put in. The whole book, chapter by chapter is listened to carefully several times for sound quality and of course script-proofed. Any problem areas are re-recorded (we call them pick-ups which need to match the original recording in sound/pitch etc) and then the book is mastered to the specifications of the platform e.g. ACX/Amazon/Audible or one of the publishing houses. Uploading the audio files takes considerable time so one needs to allow for that – I usually do that on separate days depending on the length of the book.
Q: As the voice of Tavara Tinker, how do you see her?
As a character, Tavara is intelligent, a risk-taker, invincible and knowledgeable as well as having a wonderful sense of humour with great repartee. I imagine her as tall, elegant - a female swash-buckler if you like!
Q: As a series fan, is there a place they you would love to see pop up in a future installment?
As things are currently in the news, maybe Russia or one of the Baltic countries would be interesting!
Q: Melanie is given the voice to voice any book by any author she would like, what would she choose and why?
There is no particular author, although I have several favourites but I am always driven towards espionage, the genre I read more than any other.
Learn more about Melanie & The Chronicles of Tavara Tinker
Melanie can be found online at: https://www.melaniefraser-voice.com/